Yesterday our design director decided she needed some imagery for an upcoming trade show pretty much RIGHT NOW. So the Marketing Director for another brand here just called the photographer we always use and pulled together a shoot in about 10 hours. So this morning I get to the shoot and I'm asking a little bit about the photographer when Ed says, "Did you ever see Dogtown and Z Boys? Wynn is good friends with Tony Alva and most of the photos in that film were his."
Skate photography at the time Wynn Miller had begun shooting Tony Alva generally consisted of nothing more than a fish-eye lens and a basic in-camera flash. The shots of skaters, at that time, were all of the same generic concepts; the basic close-up shots of a skater's feet and board could be found anywhere and everywhere. Miller took skate photography and skate advertising to new heights, documenting Alva in a more personal, behind-the-scenes manner and simultaneously elevating skate photography to an art form. His candid photographs of Alva at home, and just being himself enabled audiences to view Alva in his element; Miller displayed pro-skater Tony Alva, and everyday Tony Alva. He often photographed Alva head-on, focusing on Alva as a person, and not simply the pro-skateboarder he was known to be. When it came to advertising, Miller's creative edge and Alva’s charisma combined to create an almost "new-wave" shift in skateboard promotion from the corporate injection of basic product information to more conceptually stylized images. Miller used a variety of strobes, filters, gels, and an overall vibrant palette of color, to create a more artistic view of skateboarding.
Sometimes I look around and wonder, "is this really my life?"